Today I begin my ‘specialism’ module at City University. Now, you would be forgiven for thinking that when given the chance to specialise in something I would choose a subject close to my heart or something I am particularly interested in. Anyone who has read my bio or knows anything about me will be thinking, ‘Ah, he’ll have gone for sport’. Not even close. Sport was an option, as was music journalism, investigative journalism and UK politics but I didn’t go for any off those subjects, all of which interest me. No, today I begin what will be a steep learning curve in specialising in ‘Finance and Business’. Yeah, exactly.
Could my 'specialism' get me a job here?
Now, when I first set out on my travels towards journo land I wanted to be a sports hack and my journalism related work over the past few years has reflected this desire. However, at City I, along with the other students, were advised to pick a specialism a little out of our comfort zone and so – always striving to be a little unusual – I picked three preferences which I knew next to nothing about. And so here I am about to learn how to speak business and money.
But far more revealing and interesting than the fact that I am undertaking a module that the 18-year-old version of myself would have avoided like a plague of drunken cockney wide boys, is that fact that I am really quite positive about it. Rather, I am positive about it because of the pragmatic approach which clearly needs to be taken to getting a job in journalism today.
Long gone are the days when I could put all my eggs in the sport journo basket and hope for the best. I was forever being told at my various work experience placements last summer, ‘just take a job, you won’t get what you want, you might not get sport until you’re 50’ and to be honest, whilst slightly depressing, it seems like sound advice. It is no longer enough to have an in-depth knowledge of one subject area, we have to be the jack-of-all-trades journalists.
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